OBSERVER Staff Writer
The Chautauqua County Fair opened its gates for the 127th year Monday.
"We have a great week in store for everyone," said Chautauqua County Agricultural and Fair Association president James Tytka Sr. "Come visit us and bring your family, because this really is a family fair."
State Senator Cathy Young officially started this year's fair week by lighting the Revolutionary War era cannon, which began the activities with a resounding "bang!"
"This is one of the most exciting days of the year in Chautauqua County," Young said. "The fair is a wonderful celebration of our heritage, our history and our agriculture."
The fair is also proud to have the highest number of farm animal entries in its history, over 1,000.
"Each building offers adults and children alike an up-close look at some of the finest farm animals in Chautauqua County," Fair Director Lawrence Brown said. "From the youngest 4-H members to the veterans of many years here, each and every one of them is proud of their fair entries and proud of their farming heritage.
"We are a family fair that has consistently maintained its commitment to agriculture. The continued high level of participation by our farm families and agribusinesses very clearly demonstrates that we have been successful in doing that."
Young secured a $100,000 grant earlier in the year for the infrastructure needs of the fair.
"We've renovated the barn roofs and done a lot to ensure that fair-goers do not trip over cords and can be completely relaxed and safe here," Tytka said, "things most people probably won't notice but are vital to running the fair."
Young thanked all those who work so hard each year to organize the fair.
Event and ticket information is available at www.chautauquacountyfair.org or by calling the fair office at 366-4752.
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